Kei Nishikori looks set to miss the Australian Open after confirming he may not be back from injury until February.
The Japanese star missed the end of the 2019 season after undergoing elbow surgery following the US Open in August.
It was hoped that he would be back in action or the start of the season, but he has cast doubt over that, saying that his focus is on finishing the season strongly, not starting it.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” the 29-year-old told Nikkan Sports regarding his comeback bid.
“The prospect is a return from surgery on right elbow in January, maybe February.
“In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.”
Nishikori is taking a new direction with his coaching in 2020 after appointing Max Mirnyi to his team, claiming he needs a ‘new voice’ in training.
It’s another indication that time is starting to weigh on Nishkori’s mind, and that’s something he has also spoken about.
“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.”
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